Mom Of Suspect Who Was Killed Running From Police Sent Bill For Damages To Patrol Car

Posted on October 9, 2012


New York (The Gaslamp Post) – A mother received what she called “a slap in the face” when the City of New York sent her a bill for the estimated cost to repair a police car which was damaged while officers were attempting to apprehend her son.

Tamon Robinson

The “blood-money” letter, as it was described by the New York Daily News, was demanding that the family of the man who was hit by the police cruiser, 27-year-old Tamon Robinson, pay the $710 bill for the damages to the vehicle owned by the City of New York.

“We’re still grieving, and this is like a slap in the face,” Robinson’s mom, Laverne Dobbinson, 45, told The News.

“They want my son to pay for damage to the vehicle that killed him. It’s crazy.”

As of Friday, however, it appears that not only has the collection effort been abandoned, but the City of New York has issued the family an apology for sending them the bill.

Laverne Dobbinson, Robinson’s mother. Image Jesse Ward, New York Daily News

Robinson had been caught taking decorative paving stones from the grounds of the Brooklyn projects in which he had lived, at around 3:00 am, back on April 12, 2012.  Upon being caught in the act, Robinson, who is reported to have been a mild mannered coffee shop clerk by day, reportedly tried to flee the scene on foot.

Officers pursued Robinson in their cruiser, as he tried to escape to his building, but was hit by the vehicle in the predawn hours of the morning.  Robinson was reported to have never regained consciousness, and remained in a coma until he died, nearly six days later.

During this time, Robinson remained shackled to his hospital bed.  Dobbinson stated that she was only allowed into her son’s room once, and was only permitted to see him for about 20 minutes.

The damage sustained by the vehicle is being attributed to the police chase.

It also threatens to slap the family with a lawsuit if the claim isn’t paid.

“Isn’t there respect for the dead?” asked John Torrence, 50, the victim’s uncle.

Robinson, although caught in the act, and the prime suspect, is now being considered a victim.  According to the Brooklyn District Attorney, Charles Hynes, the incident remains under investigation.  Witnesses’ allegations that Robinson was intentionally “mowed down” are being investigated by NYPD Internal Affairs.

Attorney for the Dobbinson, Sanford Rubenstein is calling the bill a “disgrace” and has filed an intend to sue the city, seeking $20 million in a  wrongful death suit.